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What is this Quartzite I hear about?

You might be hearing more and more about quartzite stone for countertops. Is it the same thing as quartz countertops? What makes it different? Is this something I should consider for my kitchen or bathroom? Let's take a few minutes to compare, shall we? Quartzite may be the most confusing natural stone out there. A quick internet search will reveal varying information. Some people say it etches. Some say it doesn’t. Sometimes you hear it’s a hybrid between marble and granite. Yet, others report that it’s harder than granite. Let's look into what sets quartzite apart.


Regardless of color, quartzite is made of one thing, quartz. There are no fillers or resins. Nothing else holding it together, just quartz!


Quartzite has a tendency to look like marble and this is a really great thing! Many people love the look of marble but don't want to deal with scratchability of marble. This is where quartzite can come in and save the day!


Quartzite slabs range in porosity. It depends on the pressure the stone endured and how much they metamorphosed. All quartzites have some level of pores. It can stain, so it is recommended to seal quartzite to protect it from your cleaners and natural use.


Quartzite is a 7 on a scale of 1 - 10 on Moh's Scale of hardness. It is harder than glass, and could dull your knife if you tried to cut on it! That's amazing! We can't ever say that a stone is indestructible but wow.. this is definitely a study stone up for some daily wear and tear.


How to do the glass test:

Use a glass tile. Find a rough section of the stone, preferably a pointy edge. Put the glass tile on a table, then try to scratch the tile with the stone. Press hard.Inspect the scratch. Is it really a scratch? Or is it a powdered trail of crumbled rock? If the stone is variable and has more than one color or type of mineral in it, repeat the test in different places.

What the results mean:

Real quartzite will scratch glass easily. You’ll hear it grind and you’ll feel it bite into the glass. The resulting scratch will be obvious. Yeah! You’ve got quartzite!Non-quartzite will either leave no scratch or a very faint scratch. Often the rock feels slippery against the glass. It doesn’t make a noise. It leaves a powdery trail that rubs right off. Darn. Not quartzite. But aren’t you glad you know that now?


-There's different types of quartzite. Be aware there is dolomite, calcitic and soft stones that some stone yards will label under quartzite and this lends itself more towards the hardness of a marble. It is not real quartzite. Ask questions about your specific quartzite slab from your stone yard before you purchase. Be as educated about your slabs as you can!

-Test your quartzite slab before you purchase. If your stone yard will not allow a test to be done, find one who will.

-Quartzite can be pricey. Price is by the slab and ranges but I would say it is more expensive than engineered quartz. If you are shopping for quartzite, be sure to get prices before you let your heart get locked in on a slab.

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